The Betsy, Miami Beach, Florida $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Situated on the quieter northern end of South Beach's raucous Ocean Drive, the Betsy Hotel is, in many ways, a fish out of water—picture a Southern belle surrounded by Art Deco divas. Preppy patrons with cardigans slung just so around their shoulders (often with a cigar in hand) conjure the era from which the hotel hails; formerly the Betsy Ross Hotel, the Georgian-style property dates from 1942 and was renovated and reopened as the Betsy in 2009. The hotel's 63 rooms are on the cozy side, but what they lack in space they make up for in style: Dark wood floors, plantation shutters, four-poster beds, and bookshelves lined with interesting tomes hark back to a kinder, gentler era; modern marble bathrooms with TVs built into the mirror are a fun design contrast with the crown molding. Rooms fronting Ocean Drive have iconic Miami Beach views, but the poolside rooms (overlooking a disappointingly small drink of water) are generally quieter. You'll also want to request a room as far from the dinging elevators as possible. The Betsy's demure facade makes it all the more fun to discover the B-Bar, an edgy nightclub in the hotel's basement with reflective ceilings and internationally acclaimed DJs on the turntables. And chef Laurent Tourondel's French-inspired carnivore temple, BLT Steak, is located on the ground floor, in prime people-watching territory. In every way, old meets new in true South Beach form at this pretty hotel—but it's the Betsy's air of the debonair that sets her apart.—Terry Ward
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:You'd never know it to look at her, but The Betsy, a 63-room Georgian-style hotel on Ocean Drive, is the work of Miami's most famous architect, L. Murray Dixon, creator of many of the curvy Art Deco gems that line South Beach. It's not just her outward appearance that sets The Betsy apart: The fresh interior is more Savannah than SoBe, with chairs upholstered in striped fabric, curtains and bedspreads bordered in matching colorslavender, mustard, greenand a neat pile of books, including one by local boy Carl Hiaasen, on the desk in each room. The staff is genuinely helpful, and the informal restaurant, BLT Steak, serves food you actually want to eat (if you don't choke on the prices). The downsides? The tiny bathroom had a television embedded in the mirrorbut no bath to watch it from. The small pool, enclosed by walls, is a poor relation to those offered at the likes of The Raleigh and the Delanothere is, however, a rooftop deck facing the seaand the hotel does not have direct access to the beach: Guests have to cross Ocean Drive. Still, for travelers looking for a Miami sojourn with less of a scene, The Betsy is a good bet. 2010 Hot List
Which room to book: Any room facing the ocean.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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